Ingrown toenails are the result of the nail growing laterally into the sides of the toe. We see this type of condition very often and it is common to have an ingrown toenail. Ingrown toenails can be extremely painful. Typically they occur on the big toe but can affect other toes as well. Thankfully, it is generally simple to resolve an ingrown toenail.
It is relatively easy to identify an ingrown nail. Some of the symptoms involve the affected toes being in pain, the nail growing laterally, the nail forming ridges, thickened skin on the edges of the nail.
Two factors influence the start of an ingrown toenail. Repeated trauma or direct trauma from tight shoes and improper biomechanics. If an individual's shoes are too small toenails may bump the toe box of the shoe with each step. This trauma may seem insignificant in the moment but over time the nail bumping in the shoe is compounded and often results in a nail growing out the sides. Having improper biomechanics can put more pressure on the nail than normal. This pressure can also lead to a nail growing out the sides.
For ingrown toenails, we've found a combination of different treatments to be the best solution. Immediately we recommend the patient get a shoe that is larger or wider. Then, if the ingrown toenail is intolerable we'll perform a nail avulsion procedure to alleviate the pain. Finally, as a sort of defence measure, we'll often prescribe orthotics to ensure that improper biomechanics are corrected. These treatments can be seen below.